Tetanus Shot Booster Basics
Tetanus is a rare disease caused by bacteria known as Clostridium tetani. The toxin produced by the bacteria affects the function of the nerves and leads to severe muscle spasms in the stomach, neck, and extremities. The disease is often called lockjaw since the muscle spasms in the face and neck can lead to the incapacity to open the mouth. Unfortunately, it is a serious condition that is fatal in up to 30 percent of cases.
The beginning symptoms include:
– Stiff neck
– Spasm of the muscle that closes the mouth
– Trouble swallowing
– Rapid heartbeat
Most cases happen in people who have never been vaccinated or who haven’t had a booster shot in the past ten years.
It’s true that if you get a tetanus vaccine immediately after exposure to the bacterium, it can protect you. However, it’s likely that you won’t seek medical attention if the wound is minor. Your safest bet is to get a tetanus booster every ten years to protect yourself.
Adults who didn’t get a primary series of tetanus immunizations in childhood should get three doses over 7-12 months, followed by a booster shot every ten years. If you were immunized in childhood, you need a booster shot every ten years.
If you step on a nail or have a wound that’s dirty and haven’t had a tetanus booster in the past ten years, you should clean the wound and seek medical attention immediately. That should include a tetanus shot.
Do you have questions about when you should get your next booster shot? We can help with this and more! When you need urgent medical attention, visit Sand Canyon Urgent Care. With facilities in Irvine and Stanton, we treat you quickly. We welcome walk-ins and have an expert team of medical professionals ready to help you.